1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say; 2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. 3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. 4 But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.” 5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. 6 May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; 7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it, nor one who gathers fill his arms. 8 May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the Lord be on you; we bless you in the name of the Lord.”
This Psalm speaks as a prayer against the persecution of Israel, and the enemies of Israel. The Psalmist uses metaphorical language to describe the “deep wounds” that were inflicted on Israel. However instead of being defeated, the Psalmist writes as if Israel is down but not out! The enemies of Israel may have inflicted injury upon the nation, but “they haven’t won the battle”. The Psalmist recognises that ultimately, regardless of how it may appear, The Lord who is righteous has set Israel free, and these wounds will not last.
When I feel that I have been injured by others, inflicted with wounds by those around me, or even just damaged by what life brings, it is so easy to fall in a heap and allow the battle to be lost. This Psalm reminds me that I serve a righteous God who is bigger than all of these things, and who has ultimately set me free from such troubles. While there is no promise of pain free relationships or an easy life, I can know that with Gods strength I can continue on, I may be down but I’m not out.
Lord, thank you that you are bigger than the pain that comes my way. Help me to draw upon you and your righteousness, so that even when I feel wounded I have the strength to continue onwards.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko